Path to Proficiency

With the new school year, I’ve been thinking about what messages I can convey to my students not just about the importance of surrounding themselves with language, but also the idea that proficiency doesn’t happen in one year.  A common question from my French 1 students is “Will I be fluent after this year?”  It seems like a silly question at first but for a young person who’s never formally learned a language before, a language class does pose questions about proficiency.  What does “fluent” mean to each student?  One student might want to be able to understand a song while another might want to live and work in a Francophone country.  Either way, the question of proficiency is an important one to discuss with new learners.

There’s an excellent Path to Proficiency infographic/poster put out by SCS World Languages.  (Here’s a link to download the it as a PDF: pathtoproficiency SCS World Languages.)  I like the concept of thinking of language learning as a pathway, but I also wanted students to be able to see an example of what they’d be able to say at each progressing level.

So I came up with this poster that I plan on discussing with my students.  It’ll show students examples of what their speaking will look like over their four years.  And I also plan to talk about how different students develop at different stages, and there are certain levels that the average student reaches from year to year.  This is a talk that I have with students from year to year, but I’m hoping that this visual will help them get a clearer picture.  Perhaps they’ll even begin to have some aspirations about what they’d like to be able to do.

Path to Proficiency My Version

Here are links to both the PDF and to the Word version.  Please feel free to use this in your classroom.  If you come up with any interesting versions, please share!

Proficiency Path Student Handout

Proficiency Path Student Handout

 

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